Cowboys rookie quarterback Dak Prescott has pulled the team together in a way that few can, primarily because of his racial background. He recently explained his ability to connect with all players in an interview with Lorenzo Reyes of USA Today.
“I grew up in Haughton, Louisiana,” Prescott said. “I go to my white grandparents’ house, and then I cross the railroad tracks and hang out with my black grandma. We have English teachers on my white side. My grandpa is a principal. And then you go to the other side and people have been in jail. I was put in all those different situations. I’ve been in situations where I was the only black guy. We’re in a time now where nobody wants to see that. But it still happens. Depending on where you come from, it happens. To be able to wipe that clean and see and live both sides, it’s just who I am. Being mixed allows me to connect with everyone.”
An unnamed white Cowboys player agreed with Prescott.
“Not to crap on Tony [Romo], because he has done so much for this team,” the player told Reyes. “But no matter how hard he’ll try, there are just some things that he can’t do, some ways that he can’t connect with some of the guys in here like Dak can.”
“Being bi-racial and being from the country, I can talk to guys like Travis Frederick from Wisconsin and Doug Free from Wisconsin,” Prescott explained to Reyes. “And then I can go over and talk to Dez Bryant. I mean, think about the two different standpoints you need to have a real conversation with both, to really understand what they’ve been through. I don’t think many can do it. For me, it’s not hard. I’m blessed because it’s natural.”
The racial background is just one of the factors that make it easier for Prescott to relate to all teammates. The more significant reality is that he seems to possess the emotional intelligence necessary to make a real connection with the various individuals with whom he works. Regardless of his racial makeup, having the ability to bounce from man to man to man to man and to know what to say and when to say it and how to say it becomes a key complement to Prescott’s football abilities.